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Four Days in Reno with NAEP

Where to find ESM at NAEP’s annual meeting Here at ESM, we are gearing up for one of our favorite events of the year - the National Association of Education Procurement’s annual meeting. In Reno this year, the event, from March 26 to March 29, is shaping up to be an action packed few days of procurement education, support and networking. We are excited to see many of our long-time customers (more than a few hugs are expected!) and to have the opportunity to share details about our suite of eProcurement and spend management products. During NAEP’s annual meeting, you’ll be able to find ESM all over the place. Here’s where you can find us: Booth 404-406 on the exhibitor’s floor where we’ll be talking about our spend management solutions, which are saving our customers thousands of dollars daily. Drop by to say hello, learn more and take a tour. The impact session called, “The Suppliers’ Guide to Relationships,” at 2:30 p.m., March 27. ESM CEO Anthony Rotoli and ESM customer Cory Harms, interim director of procurement at Iowa State University, will share tales from the trenches: Battling Maverick Spend in the Era of eCommerce. The fun run and walk at 6:45 a.m., March 28. Sponsored by ESM, the fun run is a great way to shake off the cobwebs and get that adrenaline flowing for another day of sessions. We’ll have T-shirts and medals for the top runners! Registration is from 6:15 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. We also are excited to listen in as our customers, including representatives from Mount Holyoke College, Michigan State University and Iowa State,...

Have you Hugged your eProcurement Vendor Today?

Observations from my first October conference season — by Mike Perno Companies are always talking about the importance of the customer. They show off customer satisfaction surveys; tout net promoter scores; and even monitor social media to turn up stories of happy clients. But I suggest that the real proof of customer satisfaction is in the hugs - real hugs that we, as a software vendor, actually get from many of our customers. Putting the customer first is a core tenant in the “ESM Way.” And, as somebody who has worked on both the implementation and the sales side for ESM, I’ve had the opportunity to build friendly relationships with many of our customers and partners.   But, as I wrap up my first trade show season with ESM, what struck me the most was how truly happy our customers are. So happy, in fact, that as we bumped into each other in the halls or on the vendor floor, customers, even some I’d only talked to by phone, would give me a hug. Sure, we would chat about ESM’s spend management solutions. I always ask how things are going and make sure we’re on top of everything. But, then the focus would always shift to the person – family, life, kids.  Many are eager to know about my baby daughter. (I’m sleeping a little bit!). Why so many hugs? The higher education market is packed with patient and friendly people. And, at ESM, we strive to ensure our solutions meet our customers’ needs and solve their problems - from streamlining the procurement process to fully automating sourcing.  ...

Big wins, new upgrades, and flawless implementations

This month, ESM’s staff is fanning out across the country to procurement conferences and meetings to meet up with current customers; talk with prospective ones; learn more about their challenges and successes; and hear from some of the best in the business. It’s always a busy time of year for us - and a lot of higher education procurement professionals out there. But these events do give us a chance to reflect on everything that we’ve been up to since last year’s fall events. We have a lot to celebrate. Here are just a few of the things we’ve been up to in 2016: We celebrated a big win when our eProcurement solution was named a “top product” by University Business. We debuted a new user interface for ESM Purchase, that award-winning eProcurement solution. ESM Purchase’s interface makes for a convenient and intuitive shopping experience, familiar to anybody who has navigated an e-commerce site. We unveiled a new sourcing solution, ESM Sourcing, which enables users to fully automate the RFx processes as they strategically source goods and services and take advantage of faster online bidding with their chosen suppliers. With automation through ESM Sourcing, users can reduce manual tasks and, ultimately, increase savings. We signed major customers, including the Meredith Corporation, the Carter Center and The Wistar Institute. New and existing higher education customers celebrated major successes as they integrated ESM Purchase with Banner and Colleague, for instance, and even experienced a “flawless” implementation. (How many people can say that after a software upgrade?) We look forward to sharing more details about everything we’ve been up to over the...